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J Mol Evol. 1999 Aug;49(2):260-71.

Characterization of the Hydra lamin and its gene: A molecular phylogeny of metazoan lamins.

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Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Goettingen, Germany.


We report sequences for nuclear lamins from the teleost fish Danio and six invertebrates. These include two cnidarians (Hydra and Tealia), one priapulid, two echinoderms, and the cephalochordate Branchiostoma. Combining these results with earlier data on Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, and various vertebrates, the following conclusions on lamin evolution can be drawn. First, all invertebrate lamins resemble in size the vertebrate B-type lamin. Second, all lamins described previously for amphibia, birds and mammals as well as the first lamin of a fish, characterized here, show a cluster of 7 to 12 acidic residues in the tail domain. Since this acidic cluster is absent from all invertebrate lamins including that of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma, it was acquired with the vertebrate lineage. The larger A-type lamin of differentiated cells must have arisen subsequently by gene duplication and insertion of an extra exon. This extra exon of the vertebrate A-lamins is the only major change in domain organization in metazoan lamin evolution. Third, the three introns of the Hydra and Priapulus genes correspond in position to the last three introns of vertebrate B-type lamin genes. Thus the entirely different gene organization of the C. elegans and Drosophila Dmo genes seems to reflect evolutionary drift, which probably also accounts for the fact that C. elegans has the most diverse lamin sequence. Finally we discuss the possibility that two lamin types, a constitutively expressed one and a developmentally regulated one, arose independently on the arthropod and vertebrate lineages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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